I've been working with in-oven probe thermometers. The array of product features is bewildering, from oven-calibrating functions to dual probes to four different alarms to extra long cords. The bells and whistles help distinguish the many models, while the color displays, attractive graphics and brightly colored packaging are designed to appeal in a crowded marketplace.
But it's this little thermocouple from Thermoworks that keeps me guessing with its old-fashioned, straightforward functionality. The MTC (mini thermocouple) is the John Galt of measuring devices: it has no screen graphics, no alarms, no color display, no meat presets. It displays for only 15 seconds then shuts off to save power. It doesn't give a tinker's damn what you think. It. Just. Measures.
The MTC packaging includes a long list of uses, some of which I never dreamed, including asphalt, air-conditioning, pharmaceuticals, and by the way, at the bottom of the list, barbecue. It couples with dozens of probes. The surface probe is good for checking the temperature of packaged foods. With the super-high temperature probe, your smoked meat should be perfect, while a needle probe slips easily into the restricted spaces of fish and ribs.
The safe temperature for foods is between 120 (tuna) and 165 (poultry). This is where the MTC exceeds expectations in a big way. Given its temperature range of -83 to 1999 degrees, yep, it should get the job done just fine.